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Valdez - a town of extremes

The 4,000 residents of Valdez are cut off from the road system as a result of a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River. Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The 4,000 residents of Valdez are cut off from the road system as a result of a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River. Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Vertical Solutions Helicopters co-owner and pilot Douglas Fulton returns to Valdez after an overflight of the Snowslide Gulch avalanche on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, that carried a massive amount of rain-soaked snow that buried the Richardson Highway and damned the Lowe River last week.
Bill Roth
The Richardson Highway near Mile 16 is still buried under debris from a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River as road crews wait for the flooding to recede on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The Richardson Highway near Mile 16 is still buried under debris from a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River as road crews wait for the flooding to recede on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Flooding debris and ice surround a Richardson Highway mile post sign on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The Alpine subdivision of Valdez is still on the lookout for possible flooding as a result of the avalanches at Mile 16 of the Richardson Highway on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The Richardson Highway near Mile 16 is still buried under debris from a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River as road crews wait for the flooding to recede on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The Richardson Highway near Mile 16 is still buried under debris from a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River as road crews wait for the flooding to recede on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Vertical Solutions Helicopters co-owner and pilot Douglas Fulton lifts off from the Valdez airport with local residents on a flightseeing tour of the Snowslide Gulch avalanche that closed the Richardson Highway near Keystone Canyon on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Kate Sicilia, 24, watched avalanches slide down the mountains surrounding Valdez last week from the back of a purse seiner moored in the small boat harbor. Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Nathaniel Hughes, left, and Caleb Springer scrape ice off the docks at the City of Valdez Small Boat Harbor on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, that was created by spring-like weather and heavy rain last week.
Bill Roth
A front-end loader is parked on the Richardson Highway near Mile 16 after having cleared some of the flooding debris on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Kate Sicilia, 24, soaks up sun while reading the Bible on the back of a purse seiner during a spring-like day in Valdez on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. She watched avalanches slide down the mountains surrounding Valdez last week from the small boat harbor.
Bill Roth
Jason Kendall walks home from the grocery store on a spring-like day in Valdez on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. A massive avalanche kept the Richardson Highway closed north of town.
Bill Roth
Chef Joel Brown walks to work past mounds of melting snow on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Valdez is behind its normal annual snowfall with the recent spring-like weather.
Bill Roth
Darwin Barrie who witnessed the 1964 Good Friday earthquake tsunami reflects on the past and present while at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Valdez on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The 4,000 residents of Valdez are cut off from the road system as a result of a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River. Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The 4,000 residents of Valdez are cut off from the road system as a result of a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River. Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Vertical Solutions Helicopters co-owner and pilot Douglas Fulton returns to Valdez after an overflight of the Snowslide Gulch avalanche on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, that carried a massive amount of rain-soaked snow that buried the Richardson Highway and damned the Lowe River last week.
Bill Roth
The Richardson Highway near Mile 16 is still buried under debris from a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River as road crews wait for the flooding to recede on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The Richardson Highway near Mile 16 is still buried under debris from a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River as road crews wait for the flooding to recede on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Flooding debris and ice surround a Richardson Highway mile post sign on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The Alpine subdivision of Valdez is still on the lookout for possible flooding as a result of the avalanches at Mile 16 of the Richardson Highway on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The Richardson Highway near Mile 16 is still buried under debris from a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River as road crews wait for the flooding to recede on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The Richardson Highway near Mile 16 is still buried under debris from a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River as road crews wait for the flooding to recede on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Vertical Solutions Helicopters co-owner and pilot Douglas Fulton lifts off from the Valdez airport with local residents on a flightseeing tour of the Snowslide Gulch avalanche that closed the Richardson Highway near Keystone Canyon on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Kate Sicilia, 24, watched avalanches slide down the mountains surrounding Valdez last week from the back of a purse seiner moored in the small boat harbor. Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Nathaniel Hughes, left, and Caleb Springer scrape ice off the docks at the City of Valdez Small Boat Harbor on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, that was created by spring-like weather and heavy rain last week.
Bill Roth
A front-end loader is parked on the Richardson Highway near Mile 16 after having cleared some of the flooding debris on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Kate Sicilia, 24, soaks up sun while reading the Bible on the back of a purse seiner during a spring-like day in Valdez on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. She watched avalanches slide down the mountains surrounding Valdez last week from the small boat harbor.
Bill Roth
Jason Kendall walks home from the grocery store on a spring-like day in Valdez on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. A massive avalanche kept the Richardson Highway closed north of town.
Bill Roth
Chef Joel Brown walks to work past mounds of melting snow on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Valdez is behind its normal annual snowfall with the recent spring-like weather.
Bill Roth
Darwin Barrie who witnessed the 1964 Good Friday earthquake tsunami reflects on the past and present while at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Valdez on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The 4,000 residents of Valdez are cut off from the road system as a result of a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River. Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The 4,000 residents of Valdez are cut off from the road system as a result of a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River. Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Vertical Solutions Helicopters co-owner and pilot Douglas Fulton returns to Valdez after an overflight of the Snowslide Gulch avalanche on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, that carried a massive amount of rain-soaked snow that buried the Richardson Highway and damned the Lowe River last week.
Bill Roth
The Richardson Highway near Mile 16 is still buried under debris from a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River as road crews wait for the flooding to recede on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The Richardson Highway near Mile 16 is still buried under debris from a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River as road crews wait for the flooding to recede on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Flooding debris and ice surround a Richardson Highway mile post sign on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The Alpine subdivision of Valdez is still on the lookout for possible flooding as a result of the avalanches at Mile 16 of the Richardson Highway on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The Richardson Highway near Mile 16 is still buried under debris from a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River as road crews wait for the flooding to recede on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
The Richardson Highway near Mile 16 is still buried under debris from a massive avalanche in Snowslide Gulch near Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River as road crews wait for the flooding to recede on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Vertical Solutions Helicopters co-owner and pilot Douglas Fulton lifts off from the Valdez airport with local residents on a flightseeing tour of the Snowslide Gulch avalanche that closed the Richardson Highway near Keystone Canyon on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Kate Sicilia, 24, watched avalanches slide down the mountains surrounding Valdez last week from the back of a purse seiner moored in the small boat harbor. Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Nathaniel Hughes, left, and Caleb Springer scrape ice off the docks at the City of Valdez Small Boat Harbor on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, that was created by spring-like weather and heavy rain last week.
Bill Roth
A front-end loader is parked on the Richardson Highway near Mile 16 after having cleared some of the flooding debris on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Kate Sicilia, 24, soaks up sun while reading the Bible on the back of a purse seiner during a spring-like day in Valdez on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. She watched avalanches slide down the mountains surrounding Valdez last week from the small boat harbor.
Bill Roth
Jason Kendall walks home from the grocery store on a spring-like day in Valdez on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. A massive avalanche kept the Richardson Highway closed north of town.
Bill Roth
Chef Joel Brown walks to work past mounds of melting snow on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Valdez is behind its normal annual snowfall with the recent spring-like weather.
Bill Roth
Darwin Barrie who witnessed the 1964 Good Friday earthquake tsunami reflects on the past and present while at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Valdez on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Bill Roth
Craig Medred